[SydPhil] Seminar Friday (anti-representationalism)

Glenn Carruthers glenn.rj.carruthers at gmail.com
Tue May 12 12:23:20 AEST 2015

This weeks cog sci seminar is potentially of interested, see below,

Seminar Abstract The same old debate: has there been any progress in the
debate around mental representations?

Speaker : *Nikolai Alksnis*, Politics & Philosophy, La Trobe University.
Date : 15th of May 2015, 12:00PM until 1:00PM
Location : Australian Hearing Hub, 3.610, Macquarie University.

On close examination, the debate between those in favour of mental
representations and those against appears to have made little progress. One
philosopher acutely aware of this was Peter Slezak, who, in a series of
articles (Slezak 1999, 2002, 2004), drew parallels between today’s
cognitive science based debate to the one held between Nicolas Malebranche
and Antoine Arnauld in the 17th Century. Tracking the similarities from
Malebranche, to Locke and to Jerry Fodor, Slezak shows how the same
problems and the same replies keep resurfacing. This talk will explore
these similarities with a focus on the two conflicting models at the heart
of this debate: the tripartite model that supports representations (object,
representation, mind) versus the dyadic one suggested by
anti-representationalists (world, mind). I will contend that it is only by
understanding the debate on these terms can we hope to avoid the mistakes
of the past. Additionally, this approach allows us to see the level of
flexibility afforded by the dyadic approach: a level of flexibility that at
least hints at how new approaches could emerge and provide insight into
this long-standing stalemate.​
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